A MURDER trial is about to begin with the jury sworn today and expected to begin hearing evidence this Wednesday.

Adam Carpenter, Faisal Fiaz and Mohammed Hussain all deny murder and conspiracy to commit robbery following the death of 22-year-old Colton Bryan in Redditch in July last year.

The jury of six men and six women was sworn shortly after 12.30pm today (Monday).

The defendants to stand trial on the two count indictment are: Adam Carpenter, 21, of Wharrington Hill, Redditch; Faisal Fiaz, 21, of Millsbro Road, Redditch and Mohammed Hussain, 25, of Oakfield Avenue, Oakfield Road, Birmingham. The three men are alleged to have committed the murder in Guinness Close, Redditch on July 15 last year.

The trial is expected to last between four and five weeks. During the hearing, when the jury was sworn and put in charge of the case, the defendants and jurors were first asked to remove their masks briefly to make sure they were not known to each other. Names of witnesses and officers in the case were also read out to the panel as were places of relevance in the trial including Guinness Close, Highfield Avenue, Evesham Road and the Blue Inn Hotel. The jurors and legal representatives wore masks as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise nationally and with a new, more transmissible variant sweeping the country.

Jurors remain, as in previous trials, protected by perspex screens and by strict limits on the capacity within the courtroom. This means that some people in the trial, such as junior counsel, will be in a different court, linking in remotely to the main court (court one) which is the only city court with a secure dock.

Judge James Burbidge QC, the Recorder of Worcester, gave the usual warnings and advice to jurors, which includes not visiting any locations relevant to the trial or carrying out any of their research.

They were also told not to discuss the case with family or friends other than to say they were sitting in a murder trial.

Judge Burbidge added: "That is all you will be able to tell your family when you go home this afternoon."

He also told them: "You must return your verdicts without outside influence."

The murder trial was then adjourned until Wednesday which he told them would give legal counsel further time to 'distil some of the issues'.

The defendants were remanded in custody until the jury begin hearing evidence which is expected to happen this Wednesday at 11am when the case is formally opened by the prosecution.